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Showing posts from October, 2013

Sorrow's Knot

Sometimes it is so hard being a blogger, because books like Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow come along. A book that is so beautifully written, heart wrenching, and immediately beloved that I know whatever words I come up with to tell you about it will be woefully inadequate.

Synopsis:
The girl who remade the world was born in the winter. 
The dead do not rest easy. Every patch of shadow might be home to something hungry, something deadly. Most of the people of this world live on the sunlit, treeless prairies. But a few carve out an uneasy living in the forest towns, keeping the dead at bay with wards made from magically knotted cords. The women who tie these knots are called binders. And Otter's mother, Willow, is one of the greatest binders her people have ever known.
But Willow does not wish for her daughter to lead the lonely, heavy life of a binder, so she chooses another as her apprentice. Otter is devastated by this choice, and what's more, it leaves her untrained when the vi…

Rules for Ghosting

This has been a great year for books with ghosts. (Maybe this is the case every year except I've just actually been reading them this year.) Either way, Rules of Ghosting by A.J. Paquetteis a fun addition to this years crop of ghost books, particularly good for the younger MG reader who wants to read a haunting tale without being creeped out or scared.

Synopsis:
Twelve-year-old Dahlia has always lived at Silverton Manor-having spent fifty years as its resident ghost. When Oliver Day and his family show up as house-sitters the day Mrs. Tibbs, a Liberator sent by the Spectral Investigative Council, arrives to teach Dahlia the proper rules for ghosting, Dahlia can't wait to make new friends. But the unscrupulous ghost hunter, Rank Wiley, and the crooked town councilman, Jock Rutabartle, plan to rid Silverton Manor of its ghosts and sell it to the highest bidder. With her home and friendships at stake Dahlia may have to break the rules of ghosting as quickly as she learns …

COVER LOVE: New DWJ Covers

Cover Love is hosted by Shae Has Left the Room and is for the purpose of sharing the love of amazing and wonderful covers.

The UK editions of Diana Wynne Jones's books have been getting new covers over the past few years. These covers have all been magnificent. I'm not going to lie, I have ordered new copies of all of them from Book Depository as soon as they became available. This latest batch will be no exception. They are beautiful. And boy do they capture the  spirit of the books.




Aren't they gorgeous???? 

Cinder and Scarlet

I love fairy tales and fairy tale retellings and I ordinarily try to read them as soon as possible. I decided to wait on Cinderby Marissa Meyer because I knew it was first in a series. Also I'm sort of over the futuristic thing for the most part, even if it's futuristic fairy tales. (Haha-so I told myself.) I was going to be cool and calm. Then Scarlet came out and my interest level went up. Way up. I mean, a retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood"!?! How often do we see that? Not often. Still. I was cool and calm. Then they revealed the cover for Cress and I gave up the whole cool and calm thing. I'm in now. I'm all in.

Cinder Synopsis:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled …

Shorter Musings: MG Fantasy WITH ANIMALS!

Sometimes I read a book, and I even enjoy it, but I don't have much to say about it. I jot down a few thoughts and then I move on. When these start to pile up, I put them together in one post.

Here are some MG Fantasy books (animals included) I have read recently with my thoughts.


The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz
I concede it was well written. And it will appeal to a certain group on the younger end of the MG/upper end of the Early Chapter Book spectrum. I did not enjoy it at all.  I almost DNFed it. I would have except I didn't have a back up book the day I was reading it. (Lesson: ALWAYS have a back up book.) This book embodies everything I LOATHE about animal stories and it was far too precious. In a world where Charlotte's Web exists why do we need this book? (We don't.) 

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo 
I adore the concept of Flora and Ulysses. A squirrel receives super powers (that involve poetry writing) after being sucked up by a new ult…

Favorite City Settings

I love big cities. I would live in one if it were at all possible right now. As it is, I spend as much time as I can in my small city's downtown. It makes sense then that I am drawn to books that are set in large cities. Here are some of my favorites:

LONDON:
NEW YORK:


PARIS:



SYDNEY:

MELBOURNE:
LOS ANGELES:


What about you? Do you prefer city or rural settings? What are some of your favorites?


Empire of Bones

I love anything N.D. Wilson writes, but his Ashtown Burials Series has become one of my all time favorite series and that status was cemented when I read an e-galley of its latest installment, Empire of Bones.

This is a series and you need to read the first two installments before reading this one. They are The Dragon's Tooth (my thoughts) and The Drowned Vault (my thoughts). If you haven't read those, go now. Don't waste any more time.

Synopsis:
Cyrus and Antigone Smith have thwarted Dr. Phoenix's plans—for the moment. And they've uncovered a new threat from the transmortals and managed to escape with their lives. Their next adventure will take them deep into the caves below Ashtown, where they will look for help from those imprisoned in one of Ashtown's oldest tombs. 

Like its predecessors, Empire of Bones gets off to an action packed start and just keeps going. There are moments of calm but they are briefer than ever as the heroes are racing toward an un…

Fangirl

I really enjoy Rainbow Rowell's writing, from her adult novel Attachments to her YA Eleanor & Park. I just love the way she paints pictures with words and creates characters who are real and easy to relate to. For all those reasons plus its amazing synopsis I was so excited to read Fangirl.

Synopsis:
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s …

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

I have said it before: I don't love animal stories. I was pretty excited about The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swampby Kathi Appelt despite that, and not only because I heard wonderful things about it from others. No. It was because of the raccoons on the cover. See, I've always had a thing for raccoons. They were my favorite animal growing up. They began my love with rascally thieves really. And this book features a pair of adorable rascally (rascally adorable?) raccoon brothers.

Synopsis:
Raccoon brothers Bingo and J’miah are the newest recruits of the Official Sugar Man Swamp Scouts. The opportunity to serve the Sugar Man—the massive creature who delights in delicious sugar cane and magnanimously rules over the swamp—is an honor, and also a big responsibility, since the rest of the swamp critters rely heavily on the intel of these hardworking Scouts.
Twelve-year-old Chap Brayburn is not a member of any such organization. But he loves the swamp something fierce, and h…

Across a Star-Swept Sea

The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my all time favorite books. On one hand it is so much fun with romance, melodrama, and mustache twirling villains. On the other hand it deals with some pretty serious issues such as what lack of respect and trust do to a relationship, what we owe our fellow man, and what individuals do to try to make the world better when their governments can't (or won't). So I was excited when I learned Diana Peterfreund's latest novel, Across a Star-Swept Sea would be a futuristic retelling of this wonderful story, and that she was flipping the genders of the two main characters. The book did not disappoint, it has the same balance of fun and seriousness as the original.

Synopsis:
Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the rulin…

CYBILS Nominations: Only a Week Left!

Nominations for the CYBILS have been going for a week now and some great books have been nominated. There are still many that haven't been though. If you have been waiting, now is the perfect time to nominate your favorites.

Here are some books in the categories I read the most from that haven't been nominated yet. I'm sure there are lots more too.

GO HERE TO NOMINATE.

EMG SPECULATIVE FICTION
The Fellowship for Alien Detection by Kevin Emerson
Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde
Garden Princess by Kristin Kladstsrup
How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks
North of Nowhere by Liz Kessler
Texting the Underworld by Ellen Booraem
The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick
The Vengekeep Prophecies by Brian Farrey
The Watcher in the Shadows by Chris Moriarty
The Whatnot by Stephen Bachmann

MG FICTION
The Heartbreak Messenger by Alexander Vance

YA SPECULATIVE FICTION
City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster
The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yavanoff
Tandem by Anna Jarzab

YA …

TTT: Best/Worst Series Enders

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic is Best/Worst Series Enders.


Best Series Enders:



Series Enders that were NOT my cup of tea:



Texting the Underworld

I adored Small Persons with Wings by Ellen Booream (my thoughts), so when I discovered that Booream had a new book coming out about a Banshee and a trip to the Underworld I was excited as could be. I was even more excited when I won a copy of Texting the Underworld via a giveaway at Charlotte's Library.

Synopsis:
Perpetual scaredy-cat Conor O'Neill has the fright of his life when a banshee girl named Ashling shows up in his bedroom. Ashling is--as all banshees are--a harbinger of death, but she's new at this banshee business, and first she insists on going to middle school. As Conor attempts to hide her identity from his teachers, he realizes he's going to have to pay a visit to the underworld if he wants to keep his family safe.

Conor is not a kid looking for adventure. He likes his world safe and predictable. And spider free. He is not a coward however, no matter how much he thinks he is (and his sister claims he is). When push comes to shove, he rises to the cha…

Tandem

Tandem by Anna Jarzab is a book about parallel universes, political intrigue, and war. I was intrigued from the moment I read about it despite the allusion to a possible love triangle (It isn't a love triangle though so don't let that turn you off.). I was excited to receive an e-galley. It was an entertaining read, but in the end my feelings are mixed.

Synopsis:
Everything repeats.
You. Your best friend. Every person you know.
Many worlds. Many lives--infinite possibilities.
Welcome to the multiverse.

Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.
To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arrang…

WoW: The Greenglass House

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.

Kate Milford is one of my favorite authors. Her books The Boneshakerand The Broken Lands are enchanting and full of interesting twists on old tales. This new book has pretty much every…

Cybils Nominations Are Open

So many great books have come out in the past year and here is your chance to nominate YOUR favorites for a CYBILS Award.

You can find the nomination form here.

Eligible books are any book published in the US or Canada between October 16 of 2012 and October 15 of 2013.

Make sure the books you love are considered. NOW GO!